Monday, February 19, 2024

1950s Frontierland Views

There's just something about the Frontierland of the 1950s... those early days when you could still tell that the area had been carved out of Orange County groves, with scrubby little trees and barely-planted hillsides. It was awesome! Today I have two nice views from those days.

From the upper deck of the Mark Twain we get this nice view looking out toward the entrance (or is it the exit?), with the Golden Horseshoe and the Pendleton store to our right, and the miniature horse corral and shooting gallery to the left. It's so strange to see that grassy area right in the middle of the avenue! 

I zoomed in for a better look; my favorite detail is the mother with her two young girls, to the right. They are all in pink!

Next is this unusual angle of a Stagecoach - again, seen from the steamboat. The Stagecoach didn't travel along this waterfront pathway for very long. As you can see, there are two other coaches in front of it - maybe the one mostly out of frame is one of the Yellowstone Coaches.


Nanook said...

Since the Miniature Horse Corral is still operating, this image can't be any later than July, 1957.

That Stagecoach looks lovely rolling through the dirt.

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

The Pink family is also my favorite part of this photo. I couldn't decide if the lady wearing the red belt is the mother or if it's the one between the two small girls; she might be the older sister?
And of course, we get a magnificent view of the Frontierland Moonliner. I like those undulating rows of benches with thatched roofs.

The angle of the Stagecoach adds a lot of excitement and movement to this photo. It took me a while to figure this photo out. I thought the dark area on the right was the River and that the horses, and Coach, are getting awfully close to falling in! But then I realized that the dark areas are just cast shadows... Crisis averted.

Thanks, Major.


That’s a great flank view of the CONCORD STAGECOACH “COLORADO” . It is sort of the monorail green of the stagecoaches at Disneyland . For whatever reason of the Concord Coaches , “CALIFORNIA” and “ARIZONA” seem to appear in photos more… it could be because they had more striking vignettes painting of their doors, but more than likely it was just coincidence.

TokyoMagic! said...

We can see an American flag of in the distance of that first pic. I'm trying to figure out where it would have been. I think we can see just a little of the Skyway's sign and kinetic sculpture, behind that tree. So that would mean that flag was to the left/north of that. Was it on top of the Phantom Boat's loading dock?

That's a great shot of the rarely seen Colorado stagecoach! I thought someone was mooning us from inside the coach, but on second glance, I see that it's just an elbow.

JG said...

Great view of old Frontierland, not only the pink frock ladies, but three wood grain trash cans and a peek at the Rocket to the Moon! Good Show!

Can’t wait to read Melissa’s exposition on the ladies’ outfits.

Looking at the Stage Coach reminds me of the joke about the Englishman who thought a football coach had four wheels… “Ha Ha, that’s a good one old bean, how many wheels does the bally thing have?”

Thanks Major!


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I knew these were “early”, but thank you for finding a more specific date that they might be from!

JB, I’m guessing that the leftmost lady is the grandmother, though I admit that the “mom” looks pretty and young. The Frontierland Moonliner was just like the Tomorrowland version, only it was built from old horseshoes. It’s a bummer that Disneyland no longer has a Stagecoach, but the capacity was probably too small anyway.

Mike Cozart, it’s true, we don’t see the Colorado as much, though I have definitely seen it! The “California” with its painting of Mission Santa Barbara seems to be the one I notice the most.

TokyoMagic!, it’s hard to tell but I think you’re right about the Skyway kinetic sculpture, which would place this *after* June of 1956. No idea about that flag, it seems too close to be from the Phantom Boat ride, but cameras can fool us, so… maybe?

JG, those are the old “flat top” wood grain trash cans too. I’d laugh at the Englishman and his lack of American football knowledge, but then I realized I know almost nothing about soccer or rugby. Or cricket.

Stu29573 said...

Ok, I feel better now.
These are great! I can understand how the stagecoaches didn't really have enough capacity, but they still would have been fun! Until they turned over, of course.
Then it would have kinda stunk.
Oh well. In MY reality we'll stick with fun!
Thanks, Major!


Hey it’s the WILD West!! Stagecoaches did turnover in reality! Even the replicas at Disneyland … several times ( and recently ) at Knott’s … And Columbia State Park…. And anyone who has ever watched an episode of Little House on the Prairie knows you NEVER EVER get into a stagecoach with someone with the name “Engals” ….. disaster will follow!!

The stagecoaches at Knott’s are full-size “celerity coaches” … a rugged type bigger than a mud wagon - less fancy than a Concord Coach …. But they had a large capacity - up to 19 people …and lucky the stagecoaches at Knott’s are still very popular and the lines are brisk . I can only imagine the loading and capacity issues Disneyland would have had today with its scaled down coaches …And dealing with the large crowds and “larger size” guests …. When Euro Disneyland ( Disneyland Paris ) was first being planned , there was a consideration to re-introduce a Stagecoach attraction , but ultimately this was passed on. I the late 90’s there was a proposals for a “stagecoach simulator “ attraction for Tokyo Disneyland … the system was the same as Indy & countdown to extinction , but with guests boarding the inside of a Concord Coach … with sound efx to create the horse and wagon sounds and the rocking of the coach.

Major I think you are correct … infront of the concord coaches ( I believe there was only COLORADO , CALIFORNIA , ARIZONA) the coach cut off is a Yellowstone coach judging by its brighter “primrose yellow” color … as opposed to the darker “straw” yellow used on the Concord and Mudwagon stages .

It’s interesting to note that in the 1800’s these stagecoaches ( not including the Yellowstone Coach) did not go by these names … Concord and Mudwagon are nicknames really from the 20th century . Kinda like a colonial tri-corner hat … a name from the 20th century .. the Abbot Downing company who was the largest manufacturer of the SWELL BODY EXPRESS COACH …. Was located in Concord Massachusetts… hence the Concorde Coach term … but they were also manufactured in Germantown, and Rockaway New York. Abbot Downing made their stagecoaches into the 20th century before transitioning to truck and bus bodies for automobile manufacturing then going bankrupt in the 1930’s. All the abbot Downing company books and catalogs and drawings were donated to the Smithsonian Institution.


Correction: CONCORDE , New Hampshire …. Not Massachusetts.

Anonymous said...

All females are in dresses, and sherbet tones certainly were in fashion that season. The peach twin men know it, even the boy exiting Golden Horseshoe in statement yellows got the memo.

Realistically rugged out there on the riverbank. Love that crisp shot of horses in action. In my day it was just mules, which never moved fast enough to blur a photo.


Melissa said...

Is it regular-sized corral for miniature horses, or a miniature corral for regular-sized horses? I'm picturing an Appaloosa with his breath sucked in, standing really still.(Just kidding. Don't come after me, horse bloggers!)

I don't know as I have much to add to the pink dress discourse, except that I think JB's onto something with the three sisters theory. It's hard to tell, but it looks like the skirt of the lady to their left might be made of the same pink material, which would be a cool way for the mother of three daughters to coordinate. I think the red thing you can barely see in the middle girl's hand must be the matching red hat of the hatless younger girl on the right. I love how all of their hemlines almost line up.

As I get older and the chances of another California trip get smaller, I get a little more melancholy thinking that I'll probably never ride in a stagecoach, unless I stumble on some East Coast amusement park that still has them. I was just thinking the other day that we're about as far removed in time from the Westerns of the 1950s as they were from the real Old West.

Chuck said...

TM!, I think that US flag is marking the original location of the Court of Honor, which moved to the entrance of Tomorrowland when the AstroJets opened on that chunk of real estate in March of 1956. That might make this a 1955 image...and monkey with our themed trashcan timeline again. Skubalchronology continues to be an evolving, cutting-edge discipline.

I think there are actually four coaches in the stagecoach image, although we can only see the wheels of the one closest to the load area. Never considered the possibility of a traffic jam in the load area for the stagecoaches before, but it makes sense that it would happen on crowded days. Kind of reminds me of the Autopia in a weird way. At least they had professional drivers who didn’t constantly bang into the vehicle ahead of them. And I’m sure the fumes smelled different.

"Lou and Sue" said...

"Frontierland Moonliner" - Ha! There weren't two Moonliners, JB. There was one, and it got wheeled around - just like the Matterhorn.

What a fun day on GDB! Thanks Major for these great shots, and thanks for all the laughs, everyone.

JB said...

"And I’m sure the fumes smelled different".

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!... and Ha!

Sue, you have solved the mystery of the "Two Moonliners Conundrum" that has had Disney scholars stumped for decades!

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, I had thought about that star-shaped planter thingy with the flags, but ruled it out since we couldn't see any other flags sticking up. I didn't realize that the American flag stood taller than all the others in that star-shaped planter thingy. I also had no idea that it was called the Court of Honor. I would have definitely missed that question when playing Disneyland Trivial Pursuit. Thanks for doing that research! I think you hit the nail on the head. Or on the thingy.